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NBC has opened an investigation into racism and sexism allegations against America's Got Talent creator Simon Cowell, right.
The network tells Deadline.com they have a "deeper understanding of the facts" after meeting on Wednesday with Gabrielle Union, who was let go as a judge on the talent competition series.
Both NBC and Union called their 5-hour meeting "productive". Union, 47, asked for the meeting to hear her suggestions on improving the "toxic environment" on the set.
"The initial conversation was candid and productive," said the network. "While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution."
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Deadline says NBC plans to investigate Union's allegations that Cowell is "acerbic and overlording" on the set.
"The next step in the process for NBC is to have an as yet undetermined independent investigator prioritize moving things forward," Deadline writes.
"The ball is in NBC's court to see if they can get Cowell to agree to make some changes to the way things are done on the show," an insider tells Deadline.
Another source told People magazine that Cowell "Rubbed a lot of people the wrong way" on AGT. And he is "rarely told no."
Photos: Kevork Djansezian/Getty, Anthony Devlin/Getty
Simon Cowell's production company has brought in the lawyers to speak with Gabrielle Union about the alleged racism and sexism on the set of America's Got Talent.
As you know, Union was let go as a judge after hosting just one season of AGT for a reported $15 million salary. But the 47-year-old Scorpio refused to go quietly without hurling accusations of racism and sexism on the set.
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Among her complaints were a joke made by by Jay Leno and notes passed to her by staffers complaining about her ever-changing hairstyles.
A source told Variety.com that staffers complained Union's hairweave was "too black" for the audience.
Cowell's production company Syco brought in lawyers for a scheduled meeting between Union, Syco NBC and producers Freemantle.
Variety.com reports that NBC plans to speak with Union to ask her about her concerns regarding the environment on the set.
A source confirmed to Page Six: "The companies are retaining outside counsel to assist us in learning more about the facts in this matter, starting with hearing from Gabrielle, which we expect to happen this week."
A source told Deadline.com that Union was anxious to meet with NBC to discuss how she can help them to improve the "toxic environment" on the set.
"Gabrielle believes there is a toxicity that has become normalized at 'Talent,'" an insider told Deadline on Monday.
"She wants to help fix that, because she loved a lot of her time on the show last season, even with the issues with Simon and what have you. But she could never go back, even if they did a  and asked her to for another season — no."
But sources say the "toxic" environment on the set improved as soon as Union left. They say her constant complaints to the network bosses is the main reason why she got the boot.
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Gabrielle Union was unceremoniously fired from America's Got Talent after speaking out against "problematic" racism and sexism on the show.
The story was first reported by lovebscott.com. Gabrielle Union, 47, was let go from America's Got Talent and, according to B. Scott, there's apparently a lot more to the story than what was officially announced.
NBC sources tell lovebscott.com exclusively that Union's termination came as a result of her speaking out about "problematic” situations on the set. A source tells lovebscott.com there were racist and sexist situations on the set.
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"[Gabrielle's] contract was not renewed after being the #1 talent on the show, NBC and network TV," the source tells B. Scott.
"They only replace the women and blacks at Simon’s whim. She wouldn't walk away from $12 million because she's 'busy.' Based on weekly interactions on social media, by the time AGT finale aired Gabrielle was the #1 talent on network TV for 2019. Why not pick up someone’s option in extreme success?"
NBC reportedly fired Union to switch things up on the show. The NBC sources continue:
"Social media engagement is the new measuring stick for talent and Simon isn't on social media. Juliane and Gabrielle were both way higher ranked/engaged than Howie. The idea the network wants to "switch things up" only applies to women and Black folks. Nick Cannon wasn't crazy. He walked away from 8-figures over how [AGT] operates."
Singer and TV personality Mel B joined "America's Got Talent" co-judges Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell to film an episode of their hit talent show in Pasadena Calif. Mel was in good spirits after her Stephen Belafonte drama last week.
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According to Fox Television, comedienne and TV talk show host Ellen Degeneres will replace Paula Abdul as the 4th judge on American Idol.
Abdul walked off the show last month following a dispute with AI producers over her demands for a bigger cut of the show's profits in her paycheck. The producers didn't call her bluff and Abdul found herself outside in the cold.
"DeGeneres will sit alongside Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi and offer her own unique perspective to the contestants throughout the competition," Fox television said in a statement.
Degeneres will begin her stint as 4th judge after the audition rounds, which has been featuring temporary celebrity judges such as Mary J. Blige, Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and Victoria "Posh" Beckham.
"I'm going to have a day job and a night job," DeGeneres said during a taping of her Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday when she made the surprise announcement.
I don't watch AI at all, but it seems to me that Ellen cracking jokes will be an odd fit for the show.
This is the biggest story on the Internets today (I have no clue why). Apparently, the top brass at American Idol have talked Victoria "Posh" Beckham into replacing ousted judge Paula Abdul. As you know, Paula walked out after her request for an additional $2 mil on top of the $8 mil she's already receiving per year was denied.
According to TMZ.com, Paula is now making noises like she wants to return to American Idol. It seems her decision to leave may have been part of a publicity stunt to get AI to cave in to her demands. But now that Posh has replaced her, AI will likely tell Paula her position is already filled!
Photo: INF DAILY
According to TMZ.com, the reason Paula Abdul left American Idol is because she wanted more than the $3 million a year she was already pulling down!
I still can't believe they paid that heiffer $3 million to sit at a table and look stupid! No wonder RHOA's Kandi Burrus has started a campaign blitz to throw her name into the ring as the new judge. I'm sure AI isn't even thinking about Kandi, but her PR still sent out a press release as if AI has already come knocking on Kandi's door!
If you read between the lines in the press release, it's obvious that Kandi is dying to get that gig but AI isn't answering her calls. Unfortunately for Kandi, AI already has their one token black judge.
From a press release:
Rumors are starting to fly fresh off the press this morning that one of the stars of the Real Housewives of Atlanta,the Grammy Award Winning Singer/Songwriter, Kandi Burruss, may be a name in contention for a spot as a the new judge on the popular show which premieres in January.
Though no word has been confirmed as to if the producers will continue with a judging panel of three or add Burruss, it sure would make a very even pairing for television. "
Men are just as vain as women when it comes to maintaining their outward appearances. We know that ultra vain stars such as Usher and Sean Combs regularly get their nails buffed to a high shine by celebrity nail technician Sabrina Rowe of Tula 2 nails.
But American Idol's Simon Cowell just might be the first to admit to getting regular Botox injections and wearing lifts in his shoes ala Tom Cruise to make himself appear taller:
"To me, Botox is no more unusual than toothpaste," the 48-year-old said. "It works, you do it once a year – who cares?"As for his shoes, he admitted to wearing platform heels that are "an inch high, maybe."
But, he insisted, there's one physical attribute that's completely natural. "I'd never dye my hair," he said. "Although I know everyone thinks I do." (Source)
Photo: American Idol Worship
If this is old news I apologize, but I was not aware that American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino had a brother. Somehow I assumed she was an only child. According to American Idol Worship blog, the seventh season of American Idol begins tonight, and Fantasia's brother Ricco Barrino is one of the contestants.
According to them, Ricco is expected to win it all. I hear the major labels are in hot pursuit of the brotha. They say his voice sounds like a male version of Fantasia, whatever that means. I have never seen an episode of AI, so I'm counting on you guys to keep me up to speed on whether he wins it all or goes back to flipping burgers at White Castle.